The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) recently published its sixth report on the state of global climate science in its 30-year history, the first published since 2013.
IPCC’s latest report showed that the earth’s climate has warmed by 1.09 Celsius between 1850 and the last decade, and many changes bought about by this increase are now irreversible.
The effects of climate change are now present in every region in the world, and affecting every aspect of the weather system. “Climate change is already affecting every region on Earth, in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with additional warming,” said IPCC Working Group I co-chair Panmao Zhai.
The report also showed that it is without any doubt that human influence has caused the warming of the atmosphere, ocean and land.
Looking forward, the IPCC concluded that global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios considered. It estimates that global warming of 1.5 – 2 celsius will be exceeded this century unless ‘deep reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades’.
But it is not just about temperature. The report concluded that climate change is bringing multiple changes in different regions, which will all increase as warming continues. These effects include changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans, including intensifying the water cycle, bringing flooding and intensified drought; changing rainfall patterns; rising sea levels; permafrost thawing; and changes to the ocean, among others.
“This report is a reality check,” said IPCC Working Group I co-chair Valérie Masson-Delmotte. “We now have a much clearer picture of the past, present and future climate, which is essential for understanding where we are headed, what can be done, and how we can prepare.”